At a minimum, the result disappointed many Democrats long exasperated with an Israeli leader they consider tantamount to a partisan rival, particularly after Netanyahu’s controversial March 3 speech to Congress arranged by Speaker John Boehner behind the Obama White House’s back. Pre-election polling had shown Netanyahu’s Likud trailing the center-left Zionist Union party led by his chief rival, Isaac Herzog.
Zionist Union party supporters react at the first exit polls at the party’s election headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel | AP Photo
Obama officials consider Herzog a far more promising partner on issues like the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and Iran’s nuclear program.
Now, if Netanyahu does outmaneuver Herzog to form and lead a majority coalition in the Israeli Knesset, his long-troubled relations with President Obama may reopen at their lowest point yet.
Expect the spinning to resemble the cartoon Tasmanian Devil by the morning. The last few days were absolutely polluted with stories about Netanyahu’s imminent political demise, with the most popular version of the tale being that he ruined his chances by angering great and powerful thin-skinned consumer of canines currently occupying the Oval Office.
One does not hurt Barack Obama’s feelings without some backlash.
Now that Obama has once again been revealed impotent in helping candidates not named Barack Obama to victory, his media petting zoo is out of sorts. They will be expending a lot of effort to explain exactly why this victory wasn’t really a victory.
Naturally, they will be directed by the White House.
Maybe with an assist from Tehran.